In a first formal statement from the military leadership after the disengagement at Doklam, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa on Thursday said Chinese troops were still present in the area.
“Their [China] forces in Chumbi Valley are still deployed and I expect that they will withdraw when their summer exercise gets over,” he said at the annual press conference ahead of the Air Force Day on October 8.
China, he said, held military exercises every year in summer and so their forces were closeby when the Doklam standoff happened.
The Air Chief said the possibility of a two-front war remains low but the Indian Air Force has adequate capability to tackle threats despite a shortage of fighter jets.
“Possibility of a two-front war in the current geopolitical situation is low. Our response should be based on enemy’s capability because intentions can change overnight,” he said.
With Pakistan the IAF was more than matched while with China it was adequate. “It is not what China has got, it is what they can project against us. It is what they can bring in to Tibet… our capability is adequate.”
Despite a shortage of fighter jets, the service had plan B to optimise the existing resources and was adequate to tackle any threats. “By 2032, we will reach 42 squadrons. With whatever numbers we have, we are capable of executing operations as we speak,” he said.